Tim Burton set to direct Disney’s live action Dumbo

The Beetlejuice and Alice in Wonderland director is poised to make an elephant fly in Disney's remake of the 1941 animated classic

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Tim Burton is poised to direct Disney’s latest live-action adventure, and make an elephant fly.

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The Beetlejuice, Sweeney Todd and Edward Scissorhands director is set to helm a remake of animated Disney classic Dumbo, reports Entertainment Weekly

Burton, best known for his dark, fantasy films, as well as stop-motion animations such as The Corpse Bride, Coraline and Nightmare Before Christmas, is no stranger to Disney, having directed 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter. 

The original Dumbo tells the story of a baby elephant with unusually large ears, who is separated from his mother and teased by his fellow circus animals. With the help of his friend Timothy the mouse, Dumbo discovers that he can fly, using his ears as wings. 

The new movie will use a mix of live-action and CGI to recreate the iconic 1941 tale – Elephants can’t actually fly, after all – and is expected to focus on a human family, whose story parallels that of the baby elephant.

The film continues the trend for Disney revisiting its animated classics for live-action remakes. Cinderella, starring Lily James and Richard Madden will hit cinemas later this month, while a Beauty and the Beast remake, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans, was recently announced. 

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Transformers scribe Ehren Kruger has written the Dumbo script and will produce alongside Oblivion’s Justin Springer.